New York City is packed with hotels, from world-class luxury resorts to economy motels for travelers on a budget. But with a habitat that stretches across the entire United States, bed bugs are not choosy about where they rent rooms. With their tough bodies, short breeding cycles, and fast-crawling legs, bed bugs have successfully invaded all types of NYC hotels – including famous five-star establishments.
If you or one of your family members was bitten by bed bugs at a hotel in New York City, the bed bug hotel infestation lawyers of Whitney, LLP can help you fight for compensation. You may be entitled to damages for your medical bills, replacement of infested personal property, and other losses you incurred due to the infestation. Contact us online to set up a free legal consultation, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 to speak with an NYC bed bug attorney today.
How to Identify Bed Bugs
While some insects announce themselves with bright colors or loud noises, bed bugs often go unnoticed until it is already too late, and the victim has been bitten multiple times. There are several reasons for this. For example, bed bugs are very small at less than one-quarter of an inch, making them difficult to spot. Their drab brown color helps them to blend in with many surfaces, acting like a natural camouflage.
Bed bugs are also nocturnal, which means they normally emerge at night, feeding while their victims sleep. Though nocturnal feeders, bed bugs can be spotted during the day if they are disturbed, or if the infestation is severe. The stains and droppings they leave behind, which are generally concentrated in and around mattresses, are also telltale signs that bed bugs are present in a hotel room.
Bed bugs are flightless and are not capable of hopping long distances like fleas or grasshoppers. They move around by crawling – or, on a larger scale, by traveling cross-country in hotel luggage. If your hotel is infested, you risk bringing the bed bugs back home with you.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
The answer to this question depends on the individual. Reactions range from virtually nonexistent to extremely severe, with some of the more serious potential complications discussed in the section below. For most individuals, bed bug bites are similar to flea or mosquito bites, producing itchy, pink welts one to several days after feeding occurs. Since feeding normally occurs at night while victims are asleep, most people do not notice and are therefore unable to prevent being bitten.
Can Bed Bug Bites Cause Health Problems?
In most cases, bed bug bites do not pose serious health risks, other than minor skin irritation. Unfortunately, there are medical exceptions to this general rule. Though uncommon, some individuals have reported experiencing anaphylaxis – a rapid-onset, potentially fatal allergic reaction – in response to bed bug bites. Common signs of anaphylaxis, which demands urgent medical intervention, include facial swelling, nausea and/or vomiting, respiratory problems, and shock.
Anaphylaxis is not the only danger associated with bed bug bites. Because the bites can be very itchy, victims have a tendency to scratch the bitten areas, creating a risk of infection. Vigorous scratching can tear open wounds in the skin, creating an entry point for harmful bacteria. Infected bed bug bites may ooze pus or discharge, feel warm or stiff to the touch, or become extremely painful and sensitive. Examples of infections related to bed bugs include cellulitis, impetigo, lymphangitis, and ecthyma.
Can I Sue a Hotel for Bed Bug Bites or an Infestation in NYC?
From a bed bug’s perspective, a hotel, with its continual supply of new food sources and hiding places, offers the perfect environment in which to breed. NYC hotel owners and property managers should be aware of the risks posed by bed bugs – particularly during the summer months. During the summer, more people are traveling, vacationing, and staying in hotels. At the same time, summer heat causes breeding cycles to accelerate, leading New York City’s bed bug population to explode.
Hotels must take adequate precautions to exterminate bed bugs and other pests, ensuring that guests receive rooms which are reasonably clean and free of hazards. If a hotel rents out a room which is infested by bed bugs, the manager and/or other parties may be liable if guests are consequently bitten or suffer harm. Ultimately, prevailing in a personal injury claim depends on proving that the hotel was somehow negligent or reckless, resulting in your bed bug injuries.
Our NYC Hotel Bed Bug Attorneys Can Help
If you wait too long to file your claim, you may be barred by the statute of limitations, meaning a legal deadline will prevent your claim from proceeding. If you believe you were the victim of a hotel room infestation, it is in your best interests to discuss the matter with an NYC bed bug lawyer as soon as possible. For a free legal consultation, contact Whitney, LLP online, or call our law offices at (410) 583-8000 today.